EARLY LANGUAGE AND LITERACY PROGRAM

Information for Victorian Early Childhood Education Providers receiving School Readiness Funding

The following information supplements information contained on the Early Language and Literacy Program’s listing on the Victorian School Readiness Program Provider Menu.

Please contact Philippa Pryor at ALNF at [email protected] if you are considering adding EL&L to your School Readiness Funding Plan for 2022 so that we can better meet your needs.

About EL&L

Background

Target audience

Evidence and feedback

Easily embeds with service programming

Community-wide approach

EL&L program elements

Course pre-requisites

Training dates for 2022

Pricing

Next steps

About EL&L

Background

The Early Language & Literacy (EL&L) program provides adults working with children with practical, multisensory strategies to support the vital development of children’s early language and pre-literacy skills. Drawn from leading research and best practice from speech and language pathology and education, EL&L addresses phonemic awareness, oral language development, vocabulary knowledge, emergent writing and early comprehension skills.

Offered by ALNF since 2008, EL&L has been delivered and honed in urban, regional and remote communities across Australia. EL&L is currently offered in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria across over 100 early years sites as well as schools, libraries and other children’s services. In Victoria, EL&L has been delivered in the Central Goldfields and Latrobe Valley regions over a number of years. We extended into the Bass Coast, Casey, Hume, Moira and Mornington Peninsula regions in 2020 and further in other communities in 2021.

Target audience

EL&L is for educators, early childhood teachers and teaching assistants, volunteers, parents and community members as well as others working directly with young children or those who require additional support with oral language and literacy.

The program is primarily offered in communities where children commonly experience challenges including health and developmental issues, trans-generational illiteracy as well as culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. These factors impact upon a child’s ability to learn and engage with education.

Although developed for children with language and developmental delays, EL&L strategies are appropriate for all children, particularly those aged 0-8 years.

External evaluations have found that EL&L strategies are accessible to educators, assistant teachers, parents and members of the wider community (ACER, 2015; Perrett, 2017). These evaluations report that EL&L was judged to be practical, achievable and adaptable, to have clear aims and to offer adequate and appropriate training and support to schools and teaching staff.

Easily embeds with service programming

EL&L resources provided in the course are designed to be integrated into existing routines and learning experiences, both inside and outside.

Course participants are able to begin to use EL&L strategies immediately after the first two days of training to benefit children.

The workplace coaching provided in the program focuses on this integration of EL&L to assist with tailoring strategies to suit a range of age groups and learning dynamics.

EL&L is aligned with the Australian Early Years Learning Framework, the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, Australian Early Development Census Domains, National Literacy Learning Progression and the National Quality Standards.

Community-wide approach

ALNF’s model is a whole-of-community place-based approach to improving the capabilities of educators, parents and community members for the benefit of children. ALNF engages with early childhood education settings, schools, service providers, families and other relevant stakeholders to implement evidence-based, culturally appropriate EL&L practices for children’s early language and literacy development.

ALNF commonly trains and mentors a wide variety of participants in each program location. This allows for common strategies and terminology around early language and literacy which provides consistency for children, and sees children entering school with stronger foundational skills to equip them for success.

ALNF can provide assistance in linking centres together into community clusters for community capacity building and to combine centres to make up minimum training group numbers.

EL&L program elements

Early Language and Literacy course: This can be completed as standalone training or as the nationally accredited 10652NAT Certificate IV in Early Language and Literacy (RTO: Ninti Training Limited (NTL), RTO 70018) which requires the completion of assessments and 100 hours of EL&L practice in their own workplace.

All course participants receive:

  • Participant course materials including 2 manuals, 3 workbooks, participant bag with bespoke EL&L resources and assessment booklets
  • 4 days of training (usually delivered in 2 blocks of 2 days, over two school terms, during COVID-19 restrictions usually delivered in 2 sets of 4 webinars across 2 days)
  • Coaching and support sessions in the participant’s own workplace to support:
    • EL&L practice through modelling and observation (with or without children present as suits centre and participant needs)
    • The identification of children’s pre-literacy needs and recommendations for appropriate EL&L strategies
    • Participants as they log the 100 hours of EL&L workplace practice required for completion of the Certificate IV qualification (when chosen).

EL&L Resources: ALNF has developed physical resources (including quality children’s literature), which are highly engaging and support targeted skill development. These include training participant resources, Centre Resources (a set of book and game kits recommended for each early learning centre), as well as accessible information and tools for parents and community members working with their own children. 

Additional monitoring support regarding children’s learning progress and recommendations for EL&L strategies which will meet children’s needs can be provided.

Parent and community workshops are available to provide support for parents and other community members to support their child’s development.

Course pre-requisites

The EL&L course has no educational pre-requisites.

Participation in the EL&L course requires access to children for the completion of practical assessments.

Enrolment in the Certificate IV option requires a government Unique Student Identifier (USI) number which can be obtained at usi.gov.au at no cost.

Training Dates for 2022

Greater Melbourne Group

  • Days 1 and 2: Thursday 9 and Friday 10 June, 8.30am to 3pm
  • Days 3 and 4: Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August 8.30am to 3pm
  • Ebdale Community Hub and Learning Centre, Frankston VIC 3199

Central Goldfields Group

  • Days 1 and 2: Tuesday 31 May and Wednesday 1 June, 9.00am to 3.30pm
  • Days 3 and 4: Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 August, 9.00am to 3.30pm
  • Location: Maryborough

Latrobe Valley Group

  • Days 1 and 2: Friday 20 and Saturday 21 May, 8.30am to 3pm
  • Days 3 and 4: Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August, 8.30am to 3pm
  • Location: Morwell VIC 3840

Geelong Group

  • Days 1 and 2: Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 June, 8.30am to 3pm
  • Days 3 and 4: Thursday 11 and Friday 12 August, 8.30am to 3pm
  • Location: Corio Library, Norlane VIC 3214

Online Group

  • Days 1 and 2: Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 June, 8.30am to 3pm
  • Days 3 and 4: Thursday 1 and Friday 2 September, 8.30am to 3pm
  • Via Zoom (requires tablet or computer with microphone and speakers/headphones plus internet)

Pricing

Please contact us if you are considering the EL&L program for 2022.

Please complete the brief Enquiry Form  for more information or to express interest in the EL&L program. Pricing information is below the form.

 

Early Language & Literacy course

$4,500 per person (incl. GST).

Course costs include:

  • Enrolment in the Certificate IV course or coursework option
  • Participant course materials including 2 manuals, 3 workbooks, participant bag with bespoke EL&L resources and 2 assessment booklets
  • 4 days of training (usually delivered in 2 blocks of 2 days, over two school terms either face-to-face or online)
  • Coaching and support sessions in the participant’s own workplace
  • Assessments
  • EL&L training and coaching team travel costs and online costs.

Geographic clusters

EL&L is available throughout Victoria.

ALNF can assist with pooling centres into geographic clusters for community capacity building in keeping with ALNF’s whole-of-community approach to improving the capabilities of educators, parents and community for children’s long-term benefit. For face-to-face delivery, a minimum of 20 course participants is required.

Sites outside an EL&L cluster can access online delivery of training and coaching.

Geographic clusters:

Early childhood centres from nearby geographic locations can request this program as a group, and ALNF can assist with coordinating clusters. This achieves:

  • cost savings for each centre because they do not have to make up minimum training numbers
  • broader capacity building in communities.

Example (based on a cluster of four centres with 5 course participants each):

Cost for 5 participants at each centre:

  • Training, coaching and participant resources: $22,500 incl. GST
  • Centre resources $2,900 incl. GST
  • Total: $25,400 incl. GST

We recommend that you include in your School Readiness Plan:

4 days of Backfill/Additional Hours for staff relief for each staff member you wish to attend the EL&L training. Backfill of staff is not required for coaching as this is conducted at your workplace and can be undertaken whilst staff are on the floor with children. You do not need to include travel costs for EL&L trainers to attend regional/remote locations. 

The following may only be purchased if enrolled in the EL&L course or if the EL&L course has been completed: 

Centre Resources

Full set $2,900 (incl. GST)
Book and game kits (usually 1 set recommended per learning site) for use by adults trained in EL&L with children in your service, set includes:

  • 53 7 Steps to Phonemic Awareness Game Kits with bespoke oral language and pre-literacy activities
  • 20 Book Kits including quality children’s books, each with suggested integrated learning experiences to improve children’s oral language and pre-literacy skills. Select from Beginner Book Kits (ages 0-3 years) or Standard Book Kits (ages 3-8 years) or a combination (such as 10 of each).

Top up Book and Game Kits are also available:

Full Game Kit.                                                            $2040.50
Level 1 Games: Listening                                           $385.00
Level 2 Games: Rhyme                                               $385.00
Level 3 Games: Words and Sentences                    $385.00
Level 4 Games: Syllables                                            $385.00
Level 5 Games: Initial/Final Sounds                         $165.00
Level 6 Games: Phonemes                                        $165.00
Level 7 Games: Letters/Spelling                               $176.00
Per Book Kit                                                                   $42.90

Parent and/or Community Workshops on a range of topics relating to early language and literacy can be scheduled during training/coaching visits. These can range from 1 hour demonstrations to half or full day workshops with resource packs for participants. To enquire about these workshops or request a quote please complete the Enquiry form or contact Philippa Pryor at ALNF at [email protected].

Tailored topics include:

  • Talking Books with your Child
  • Looking at Letter Shapes, Writing Letter Shapes

Staff Professional Development Workshops are available on a range of topics. These can serve to help inform the colleagues of staff who are undertaking EL&L and as revision for those staff who have undertaken the EL&L course previously. 

Formative assessment for reflective practice: ALNF has developed a new digital Early Language and Literacy Development Index (ELLDI) and can provide support and recommendations for EL&L strategies which will meet children’s growth needs.

The Early Language and Literacy Development Index (ELLDI) is a digital, robust, accessible, formative assessment tool that can be used by a range of practitioners – early childhood educators, early years and school teachers, support staff, allied health professional and more – to receive (a) real-time feedback about children’s early language and literacy development and (b) targeted recommendations for integrated interventions. It is world unique in that it provides an empirical, evidenced based approach to assessing and intervening in early childhood language and literacy. Administration of the digital ELLDI takes approximately 20-30 minutes per child.

The purpose of the ELLDI and its associated guides are to:

  • Provide overall and specific information about children’s progression in the prior-to-school years and transitioning into the early years of school across seven sub-domains:1. Expressive Vocabulary
    2. Phonological Awareness
    3. Comprehension
    4. Oral Language – including Clarity, Volume and Fluency
    5. Print Conventions
    6. Pre-Reading
    7. Pre-Writing
  • Provide recommendations on EL&L strategies that support children’s growth.

To enquire about these services and obtain a quote, please complete the Enquiry form or contact Philippa Pryor at ALNF at [email protected].

Next steps

  1. Complete the Enquiry Form above to learn more about, or express interest in, EL&L.
  2. We will contact you to discuss your needs.
  3. Submit your Plan to the Victorian School Readiness Funding Unit as usual. Remember to include 4 days of Backfill staff relief for each member of staff you wish to complete the EL&L training. Backfill relief staff to cover for staff attending training is not required for coaching as this is conducted at your workplace and can be completed whilst staff are on the floor.
  4. Once your request for EL&L has been approved by the School Readiness Funding Unit, contact ALNF to schedule training.

Evidence and feedback

“EL&L strategies and resources makes a life change experience for our children.”

Early Childhood Education Centre Director, Latrobe Valley VIC

“The children enjoy the stories and resources so much they don't realise they are learning.”

Early Childhood Educator, Taree NSW

“The children's literacy standards at school age last year (after 12 months) were at a higher level than previous years prior to ALNF involvement with the service.”

Preschool Director, Taree, NSW

“What a collaborative joy it is to facilitate the movement of children from their preschool early education into the formal space of Primary School, witnessing their connective understanding of the familiar learning strategies promoted by ALNF in both the early years and school settings. “We can tell where the children have come from”, the teachers often comment in regards to our young learners who have begun their school foundation year.

The ALNF strategies have given us a shared tool to be used by teaching influences that each child will experience; primary school and preschool educators embracing the ‘Tommy Turtle’ letter shape language and ‘Arthur Puppet’ phonic sound encouragement – a beautiful scaffold through the seven steps of phonetic awareness undertaken with flexible modification to meet the individual needs of each child.

The strategies of the ALNF program have been effectively implemented from infant programs to 4-year preschool within our service. The ongoing Certificate 4 training has allowed a network of educators to undertake and complete the course, resulting in a quality of shared understanding in relation to the language acquisition of children in the early years.

How inspiring it is to witness the educator supports intentionally implemented through routine and open play experiences, an underlying philosophy of inspiring children to effective communication driving the professional practice.

The hands-on resources provided (e.g. books/ learning games/flash cards) are a catalyst for planned routine and spontaneous literacy exploration, adding a quality of curriculum practice to our service that is appreciated by our ongoing increasing enrolment numbers from year to year.

The families of our service community have embraced the tools used within the program, taking not only tangible templates for hands-on practice with their child, but also an empowerment of seizing the educational opportunities for building language awareness in their homes; book reading, letter recognition, singing, listening, syllable recognition etc; in their everyday interactions.

As a tertiary trained teacher and educational leader of our service in Maryborough, I am passionately grateful to the work of ALNF in bringing their ‘toolbox’ of effective learning strategies into our educational space. A lifelong professional use of the skills they have inspired in my practice is cemented in my teaching pedagogy and is increasingly built upon as the years pass, interacting with a diversity of children and family relationships.”

Educational Leader and Kindergarten Teacher, Maryborough VIC

“I have worked in preschools for over 20 years and found the EL&L program, resources and support an excellent, complete program to promote, encourage and develop early literacy in our preschools. ... The implementation of the strategies that the trained educators engage and expose the children to have a direct impact on how competent the children become in all aspects of literacy, providing an excellent foundation for school and beyond. We view the EL&L program as not an integral component of this process but a highly valued and essential part”

Early Childhood Educator, Kempsey NSW

“Using the EL&L strategies has helped our children at our preschool embark on a journey of discovery of language and the importance of literacy in our world. At this stage of our kindergarten year (a year that has been heavily impacted by the restrictions of Covid-19 and children have not come to our program regularly) some of our children have begun to read words as we have been concentrating on letter sounds. It was so exciting this week when the children read the word ‘book’ by sounding out the letters, my co-educator and I were very proud. The skills and techniques that I have learnt from doing the Certificate IV in Early Language and Literacy course through ALNF have helped me to teach and equip the children with the tools to develop their language and literacy development for life, and for that I am very grateful."

Early Childhood Teacher, Latrobe Valley, 2020